Peter Scamurra

Peter Scamurra

For someone who was the first Buffalo born player drafted into the National Hockey League, you would think he was born on skates. For Peter Scamurra, that wasn’t the case.

Born in Buffalo in 1955, his original athletic focus was on tennis, of which he was very successful. From age 11 through 17 he was winning state championships in singles and doubles, alongside his brother David. The duo, at one point, was ranked fourth in the east for doubles, and Peter was ranked in the top 20 in the region for several years in singles. During that span, he won multiple State Championships and got the opportunity to compete three times in the Nationals. 

Scamurra’s hockey career started when he was 10 years old on the outdoor rinks in the house leagues of Tonawanda. After house, he played for Nichols High School as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Amherst High School to finish up his prep years.

During his senior season, Peter played for the Niagara Falls Flyers in the Tier II Junior A League and was named a 1st Team All Star. His talents were noticed by Wisconsin coach Bob Johnson, and he was recruited to play for the Badgers. Wisconsin had just won the 1973 NCAA Tournament and were the #1 ranked team in the nation going into Peter’s freshman year.

Scamurra’s time at Wisconsin was short, as he left after his first season to play for Roger Nielson and the Peterborough Petes in the OHA (now the OHL). During the 1973-74 season, the Petes were chosen to represent Canada in the World Junior Championships because they were the top ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League. Team Canada finished with a Bronze Medal behind Finland and the Soviet Union.

After their time competing in the World Juniors, the Petes came back and lost in the OHA finals to St. Catharines. In Peter’s second year with the team, he scored 62 points and was runner up for the Defenseman of the Year Award. In addition, he was selected to the OHA All Stars.

In the 1975 NHL Draft, Peter Scamurra was drafted 19th overall by the Washington Capitals, becoming the first player ever drafted from Buffalo. That same year, he was also picked 50th overall by the Cleveland Crusaders of the WHA. He was the highest drafted player from Western New York until Patrick Kane was selected 1st overall in the 2007 draft.

Over four injury plagued seasons with the Capitals, Scamurra played 132 games and tallied 8 goals with 25 assists. He also spent time in the AHL playing 43 games with three franchises. After multiple knee injuries, Peter went across the Atlantic to play one final season with SaiPa of the Finnish Elite League.

His life after professional hockey stayed in the sporting world, however this time it involved training Standardbred horses. He called Maryland home during this time but traveled up and down the east coast training horses.

After saying his vows, he and his wife Rebecca decided to come back to Buffalo to raise their family of four. They have three sons, Travis, Jared, and Colin; and one daughter, Hayley. While back in Buffalo, Peter worked for the family financial planning business, Maximum Equities, as a Certified Financial Planner. In 2018, Peter and his brother David were inducted into the Buffalo Tennis Hall of Fame.